Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ball-ie Paint

When I was about 10 years old I remember being told by my horse riding teacher that she was expected to Jump Judge that weekend and that she would love some company, if I would like to go along with her. I was both very excited and somewhat confused by this, first of all I felt very important to have been asked and, as it was a horsey activity, I didn't need to be asked twice, and secondly Judge, who was one of our horses was no jumper, so I had NO idea why we might be jumping him. As it turned out we were to sit near a jump on a cross country course and ensure that everything was as it should be during the event, hence jump judge. Anyway I feel that Shannon had a similar experience this weekend as Sean, his brother Dean and some friends had all decided to go Paintballing. Well, Shannon knows what paint is, and she knows what a ball is, but during one of her imaginary phone calls to her imaginary friend (this IS normal, she is 3) she said: "I am going to ball-ie paint today!" Not sure she had ANY idea what she was headed for!

Nonetheless, off we went to Crestholme Paint Ball where Shannon and I stood in the vague drizzle laughing at grown men and their children shooting paint pellets at each other and yelping in pain every time they got hit! It was great comedy - the men were gunning for eachother (no pun intended) and most of the girls just hid behind the shelters too afraid to move. Brad aimed a direct hit at Sean's head which has resulted in a wonderful egg, though at the time all you could see was pink paint. Everyone is covered in bruises and welts and I am not sure I see the fun in that! What I did see was some men, who prior to this had been fairly stressed by life in general, run around playing at war, and all came away full of humour and completely relaxed by the end of their session! So to all the wives and girlfriends out there - if your man is a little stressed send him out for paintball and he will come back laughing like a little boy at Christmas! Shannon said to Sean when all the fun was over: "Have you finished shooting all your friends Daddy?" I think we will have to teach her to add "with paint" into that sentence!

The perfect end to a perfect afternoon for Shannon was that she got to sit on a beautiful, tiny little pony - Shannon is OBSESSED with riding (no questions where she gets that from) and had been begging me all afternoon to be able to ride the pony. When we got home she said she would like to watch a movie and then promptly fell fast asleep. Hmmmm, I am sure Sean and I will be signing our lives away next year when we sign her up for proper riding lessons!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Shannon the Good

Shannon is three... and a bit...so expecting perfect behaviour from her is not really an option. She has, however, usually been fairly well behaved... until last week. For the first time EVER at school, Shannon was sent to time out... twice! I mentioned to her teacher that she was behaving in a very un-Shannon manner at home and the teacher mentioned her transgressions in the classroom as well! So we had a 'chat'. Yes, Sean and I actually had the 'D' chat with Shannon, you know the one: "we are very Dissappointed in you!' (I am inclined to believe that this particular word was actually brought into existence with parents in mind as NOTHING was more effective from my own when I was young, and in fact it is still the word I dread the most from the people who really matter!) Except that beacuse she is 3 and might misinterpret the D word as something good, we said it made us sad! Shannon said: "I won't do it again Dad, and tomorrow I will say sorry to Bronwyn" (the teacher) which she did... as soon as we arrived at school! Shannon has been an absolute PLEASURE ever since.

The upside of this is that 'time out' works VERY well for Shannon wherever she is, threaten her with it and she modifies her behaviour straight away! What it does mean is that while she is coming to terms with the new methods of discipline in the home, ALL her dolls and teddys have spent time in 'time out' too!

Long may it last as this seems to have made her into a much happier and more settled person... come to think of it, when I am feeling grumpy and out of sorts, I could do with being sent somewhere quiet to think about things too!

And now for something completely different... Shannon has just told me that she needs to 'pop quickly', and that her action man doll has a 'kigger' instead of a nose! What is that about?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not a minor, nor twenty niner...

So, here I stand on the threshold of a new era... awaiting the next decade of my life experiences and adventures! To all those who have gone before me, well... you are older than me... but does that make you wiser??? ;) All those behind me, don't grow up too fast. Those of you going with me... hang on to your hair, this is going to be a great adventure!!!!!

For the first time in about 9 years I am excited about my birthday. Tonight Sean and I are going out to RJ's Steakhouse with my Mom and Dad to celebrate my last day of 29! Tomorrow... is the next day, and on Saturday my little sister is driving down from Jo'burg to party the night away with me! See you in the next decade!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Beach Baby!

This past weekend Sean, Shannon and I, along with Sean's folks, his sister Kim and her daughter Amy, headed off for a weekend at Shelley Beach. Having kept a careful eye on the weather all week so that we would know what to expect we set off for a couple of days of soaking up bennies (for those not in the loop, bennies are benificial rays of sunlight) As it turned out it was overcast the whole weekend, but as it was far from cold we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Much to everyone's surprise Sean did not fancy fishing and I firmly believe our sweet Poppet is responsible for this! Shannon's favourite movie at the moment is Happy Feet, in which a young penguin, called Mumble, sets out to discover where all the fish have gone as there are very few left and those that are there are not enough to feed all the penguins. Shannon told Sean he couldn't go fishing in the sea bacause Mumble ate all the fish. "I will buy you a blue fish Daddy" she offered to try to cheer him up about this!

Shelley Beach is about an hour and a half down the coast from us and the sand on the beach there was washed away during that destructive storm we had a few months ago. This has left it looking BEAUTIFUL. The rocks are all exposed and they provided a very adventurous Shannon with huge entertainment as she clamboured over and round them looking for crabs and shells. Shannon was a little loath to put her feet in while Amy was fishing with a net in the rock pools however!

Armed with her duk (to prevent her hair from blowing away!) Shannon played and explored and dug in the sand for as long as she was allowed. She loved that beach and keeps telling me stories about it. I walked with whoever would join me and we all sat on the rocks staring out to sea looking for very elusive whales! This was a great weekend getaway and we are SO lucky to have it right on our doorstep!

We live about 40 minutes drive from the nearest beach and admittedly it has been winter so not really beach weather, but I am determined to take my beach baby down there as often as possible this summer.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Shannonisms

Last night after bath, Shannon and I were playing in her room and somehow got into an 'oh no you don't' 'oh yes you do' banter. It occured to me that she would LOVE to got to the Pantomime this year - if there is one in Hillcrest! So I said 'We must take you to the pantomime' Shannon said 'I've already GOT my panties on' (!)

One of Shannon's friends, Sydney, has given Shannon a pair of her shoes that she no longer wears. They are orange, with sequins on and Shannon ADORES them. These shoes are a little too big for Shannon still so she is not allowed to wear them to school incase she falls over them. So she made a deal with me: 'I will wear my orange shoes to school and then put my school shoes on!' which she did! Hmmm, our 3 year old can rationalise!

Big Sister talk:

Shannon put her ear to my belly button (because that's obviously the portal to this baby) as if it is a phone...

'Hallo? I'm Shannon. I got a skirt on. Ok bye!'

Shannon sits up and asks: 'Can I talk again Mommy?'
Mommy says 'of course you can'

So Shannon starts again. Well, this baby loves to hear poppet talking so everytime she lay down with her head on my belly button and talked to her little sibling, it kicked and punched and wriggled. So I told her that the baby was kicking me. She lay her head down on my belly button and said in her cross voice: 'Naughty baby, stop kicking Mommy!'

Now we tell her the baby is wriggling!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Come September...

Can you BELIEVE it is September already???? I am speechless (and let's face it, that doesn't happen very often!)! It feels like just yesterday that Sean and I were discussing whether or not we were ready for another child and now I am more than 5 months into pregnancy No. 2!

This September is a Very Important Month as it is the month in which I turn 30! When I have mentioned this before people have looked at me as if I am insane but I'll say it again: I am REALLY looking forward to my 30's! I am not greatly into symbolism of any kind but this new decade does hold some symbolic importance to me; you see I believe that with every year that passes we can all become better, more capable, mentally and emotionally stronger people and I have strived to do that with, I believe, a great deal of success. I became someone in my 20's and now I get to enjoy that person in my 30's. I feel empowered!

I am convinced that in order to achieve this sense of personal satisfaction, one has to draw a line between certain era's of one's life. During certain years we are influenced by different people (ie parents as a child) and from them we can take strengths and discard weaknesses and build on ourselves: take responsibility for who I am and develop the person I want to be. I see many people inhibited by the fact that they blame people in their past (such as their parents) for the way they have grown up. This makes me sad, especially since becoming a parent, as no one is perfect and most people do the best they can by their kids! In order to properly grow up and become a real person in our own right we need to say thanks to our parents for what they gave us and what they taught us, and use what is useful and disregard the rest, and not BLAME them for the people we have become, or curse them for what they didn't give us!

Mom and Dad you helped lay a great foundation for me that I have been able to build on to become the person I want to be. I am ready to tackle the 30's with vigour and happiness, while all the time building on ready for the next decade. I hope that I can provide that same foundation and insight for my own children!

To add to the fun of having a birthday in September, my three great friends, Tracey, Vanessa and Nicci, will be celebrating with me on the same day at the same party (we need 121 candles between us!), two virgos, two libras four friends! HAPPY BIRTHDAY girls, it will be a good year for all of us!